Milwaukee M18 FUEL Grinder – 2780 / M18 CAG125XPD

Not long ago, cordless grinders were a convenience tool, for small tasks that would be over before you could get out the corded grinder. They were pretty easy to stall, especially with a flap disc or grinding wheel.

Enter the FUEL, the first ever brushless 18V Grinder. We lent on this grinder and it just did not want to stop! This unit felt closer in power to a corded model than to its M18 predecessor. The standard M18 is certainly respected so far as brushed units go, but it just isn’t in the same league (or country) as its FUEL counterpart.

Specs:

  • 8,500 RPM
  • 5” / 125mm disc diameter
  • 2.4kgs with battery
  • M14 Spindle

So much for power. What of comfort? It has a nice slimmed handle and has kept the great tool-free guard from the original. The rubber moulding is also very nice in the hand. I also want to give it a vote for sexiest cordless tool.

What we don’t like is the ‘deadman’ paddle. It’s cumbersome to hold for long periods, is downright annoying when holding on it’s side (for cutting) and has changed the safety lock direction from the original. It’s now harder to start accidentally, but also less intuitive to start.

No, we do not like the paddle trigger. But the rest of this tool is so damn awesome that we’d happily put up with the trigger. If only Milwaukee brought the switch version into Australia like the US have.

Another great FUEL from Milwaukee.

Milwaukee 18V FUEL 26mm Rotary Hammer Drill – M18 CH

Reviewing rotary hammer drills isn’t my favourite job, because it usually means drilling lots of holes into concrete (though it’s more fun than comparing grinder discs!). Concrete strikes me as the type of material that wasn’t made for drilling, and doesn’t want to be drilled.

Nonetheless, review it we did, and it wasn’t too painful, because this tool eats concrete quicker than Mike eats smarties. This FUEL 26mm unit (and its 28mm big brother) are really taking another step towards eliminating the gap between cordless and electric tools. In fact in some tests, this tool reportedly beats very good electric models.

Specs are as follows:

  • 26mm concrete drilling capacity
  • 2.4J blow energy at 4,900 BPM
  • 1,400 RPM
  • 3.5kgs with large battery
  • Anti-vibration system

It’s about $350 as a bare tool, which is actually not bad when you consider the price point of it’s ‘competition’ in cordless and corded models. Milwaukee have a ripper tool here.